Summary Of Mahasweta Devi's Draupadi

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Mahasweta Devi's stories show how the 4eJite culture of na¬tionalism' excludes the subaltern. In one of the stories, 'Draupadi’. the heroine Draupadi or Dopdi Mejhen bears a semblance to her mythical counterpart in more than the name that she shares with her. Both become territories the enemy has conquered, the prize he has won and the female body that he has to dishonour. The mythical Draupadi cannot be disrobed, after she is dragged into the court to be dishonoured. Lord Krishna saves her. Dopdi Mejhen, a Santhal, a tribal and part of the insurgency group that the state forces have to subdue, is captured and raped repeatedly. The attempts to 'make her' or subjugate her fail. Her violators can only mutilate her body but cannot subdue her spirit…show more content…
This points to male realities that are made to superimpose upon the woman's reality, which anyway is never written or articulated. Kalidasa's version is the canon and the accepted truth. He wrote of the love between King Dushyanta and Shakuntala but does not write of the king's numerous rela¬tionships with various women. Later in the court, when he re¬fuses to recognize or recall Shakuntala, it is ascribed to a curse by Durvasa, the ascetic who had visited the love-lorn Shakuntala in her ashram and had cursed her. This has been the male text. Even memory and oblivion are justified from a patriarchal per¬spective. However Shakuntala's story varies and she asserts that she had chosen not to produce the ring, the token the king had left with her. She was convinced that the king had known many women like her and left them to suffer and pine for him. So, rather than beg love from one who had erased her from his life and memory, she chooses to go away. She chooses dignity to abject pleading, oblivion to forced recall. The life she leads now. one of loneliness and isolation, is a life that she has chosen. Her singleness is her choice and not a socially imposed male exile. She is proud of her choice. The story affirms her right to decon¬struct patriarchal versions of untruths and tell her story from her
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